Associated Press Sports
updated 7/14/2008 12:36:11 PM ET 2008-07-14T16:36:11

Laurie Lever, a 60-year-old show jumper, was named Monday to the Australian Olympic equestrian team.

Lever is the oldest member of the Australian Olympic team and joins seven other equestrian rookies and one veteran dressage rider. Peter McMahon, Matthew Williams and Edwina Alexander join Lever in the four-person jumping team headed for Hong Kong, where the Olympic equestrian events are scheduled.

Australia has six gold, two silver and two bronze medals in Olympic equestrian events, and team officials hope Alexander, 34, will add to that total.

Alexander won a Grand Prix event in Zurich, Switzerland and finished second at another in Cannes, where she was named leading rider. She has Australia's best result at the world championships in show jumping, with a fourth placing at the 2006 World Equestrian Games.

For the first time, Australia has qualified a dressage team. Heath Ryan, whose brother Matt won two gold medals in eventing at the Barcelona Games, will compete in the team.

Heath Ryan, 50, who has never competed at the Olympics, was assistant coach to Wayne Roycroft at the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Games.

Kristy Oatley, who is the only experienced Olympic member from Australia, finished ninth in the individual and sixth in the team dressage event in Sydney. She also won gold at this year's Grand Prix freestyle in Braunschweig, Germany.

The husband and wife combination of Clayton and Lucinda Fredericks lead the eventing team. All of Australia's 10 Olympic medals have been won in eventing, including the three gold medals won by the three-day event team at consecutive Games in Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney.

The Australian eventing team finished sixth at Athens in 2004.

Clayton, 40, who lives with his wife in England, won the individual silver and team bronze at the 2006 Equestrian World Championships in Aachen, Germany.

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